Bajer Design & Marketing Inc. v. Ware Mfg. Inc., No. 09 C 1425, Min. Order (N.D. Ill. Jun 11, 2009) (Kendall, J.).
Judge Kendall denied plaintiff Bajer’s motion to reassign its second filed patent infringement suit pending before Judge Zagel asserting the patent in suit to Judge Kendall pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 42 and Local Rule 40.4. The cases met two of the four Rule 40.4(b) requirements for reassignment because both cases were pending in the Northern District and because both cases were at similar stages with defendants having just answered, such that reassignment would not slow progress of the first case. The Court also noted that a single Markman proceeding and set of claim constructions was a benefit of reassignment. But the potential for a uniform claim construction was outweighed by the fact that defendants’ accused products and, therefore, noninfringement positions were significantly different. Based upon the differing noninfringement positions and other possible differences in the parties defenses, the Court held that reassignment would not achieve the required substantial savings of judicial time and effort.